How to Write a Good Nursing Application Essay (With Examples)

Embarking on a nursing school journey? Becoming a nurse takes more than just desire—it requires a demonstration of commitment and insight into the field of nursing. A pivotal step in your application is crafting a compelling nursing application essay. This piece is your window to express your individuality, passion, and aspirations within the nursing field.

nursing application essay

This essay not only showcases your writing prowess and critical thinking skills but also your ability to convey ideas clearly. Creating an outstanding nursing application essay that resonates with the admission committee can seem daunting. You might ponder over questions like: What should my focus be? How do I illustrate my enthusiasm for nursing?

Or even, how do I make a memorable impression on the admissions panel and steer clear of common pitfalls?

In this guide, we aim to address these queries and more. We’ll navigate you through crafting an impactful nursing application essay, coupled with insights, examples, and best practices to forge a personal and persuasive narrative. Embrace this advice, and script an essay that mirrors your unique path, your goals, and your dedication to the nursing vocation, positioning you as an ideal candidate for your chosen nursing program.

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Understanding the Importance of a Nursing Application Essay

A nursing application essay stands as more than merely an academic composition. It plays a pivotal role in the nursing school admission process, where crafting a persuasive piece may distinguish you as an exceptional candidate among those who want to be nurses. The inclusion of personal experiences, achievements, objectives, and motivations behind your desire to become a nurse communicates to the admissions team your suitability for their program.

This essay acts as your personal voice throughout the admission journey. It offers a platform to directly address the admissions committee, narrate your story, and articulate your attraction to the nursing profession. The significance of this essay cannot be understated, as it often becomes the critical element in differentiating you from the pool of applicants, especially when you want to include experiences that underscore your suitability to become a nurse.

It mirrors your past experiences, future ambitions, and dedication to the principles upheld by the nursing profession.

To enhance the likelihood of your application’s acceptance, it is essential to excel in crafting your nursing school application essay. This necessitates dedicative planning. Focus on identifying key points you wish to include in your essay, encapsulating your personal journey, and integrating your achievements.

Initiate your essay with an engaging introductory statement to captivate your audience. It’s imperative to convey to the readers who you are and the significance of nursing to you.

The value of a nursing school essay extends beyond just satisfying an application criterion—it represents a chance to humanize your application. Picture your application as a canvas; your academic achievements and certificates illustrate your scholarly and technical expertise. However, the nursing essay adds dimension and vibrancy to this canvas, imbuing your application with life and allowing you to showcase your distinctiveness.

In the highly competitive realm of nursing school applications, your essay assumes a critical role in setting you apart from the competition. Amid numerous qualified applicants, your essay offers a window into your unique character, detailing your personal journey, challenges, successes, compassion, and enthusiasm for nursing.

Furthermore, it provides applicants with an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in coherent communication, an essential skill for nurses required to effectively interact with patients, families, and healthcare teams.

Creating a compelling nursing application essay that secures your admission to your desired nursing school or program demands meticulous planning, research, and creativity. In the forthcoming sections, we will furnish you with tips, examples, and best practices to aid you in developing a personal and impactful nursing school essay.

Preparation Before Writing

Embarking on your nursing school personal statement requires preliminary legwork to ensure you’re well-informed about the essay prompt and the nursing school of your choice. This crucial step will enable you to write a personal statement that resonates with the admissions committee’s specific criteria and expectations. Follow these essential steps:

Comprehending the Prompt

The inaugural step involves thoroughly understanding the prompt and the nursing application essay requirements. The prompt is essentially the question or statement your essay needs to address, focusing on your interest, motivation, and objectives in pursuing a nursing career. Familiar prompts include:

  • Your motivation for choosing nursing as a career
  • Your immediate and long-term nursing goals
  • How the nursing program will facilitate your goal achievement
  • Key qualities that define an exemplary nurse
  • The experiences shaping your nursing career choice

Decipher the prompt by identifying pivotal words and phrases signifying the essay’s intended purpose, scope, and tone. If it necessitates a description or explanation, ensure you provide comprehensive and factual information. Conversely, prompts demanding analysis or evaluation require a critical and reasoned outlook, while persuasion calls for a compelling argument.

Adhere to the essay’s stipulated requirements, including word count, format, style, and submission deadline, to avoid penalties or disqualification. For any uncertainties regarding the prompt or requirements, engaging with the nursing school for further clarification is advisable.

Researching the Nursing School

The subsequent step involves detailed research into the nursing school or program of interest. This showcases your enthusiasm and familiarity with the specific nursing field and institution and ensures your essay is in consonance with the school’s mission, vision, and values.

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Employ a variety of sources for your research, like the school’s official website, promotional materials, social platforms, alumni feedback, and online reviews. Interactions with the nursing school’s faculty, staff, or students can also offer deeper insights.

Key research areas should include:

  • The history, reputation, and accreditation status of the nursing school or program
  • The academic offerings, faculty expertise, and curriculum structure
  • Details on the admissions criteria, selection process, and statistics
  • Available facilities, resources, and extracurricular opportunities
  • The institutional culture, values, and overarching goals

As you compile your findings, maintain detailed notes and source references to ensure proper citation and avoid plagiarism. Focus on integrating information that reinforces your main arguments while omitting any superfluous details that might detract from your message.

Crafting Your Essay

Once you’ve grasped the essay prompt and researched your chosen nursing school thoroughly, it’s time to embark on the writing process. Crafting an engaging nursing personal statement is no small feat—it demands meticulous planning, organization, and a touch of creativity. Follow these key steps to ensure your essay stands out:

Creating an Outline

Begin by drafting an outline, a crucial step that provides a structured framework for organizing your thoughts and arguments clearly and coherently. An effective outline helps prevent redundancy, irrelevant content, and omissions, typically featuring three main sections: the introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction should present who you are, your enthusiasm for nursing, and your core thesis statement—the primary message you wish to communicate to the admissions panel. This statement needs to be succinct, transparent, and precise.

For instance, a compelling thesis statement might be, “Driven by a genuine desire to aid others, my robust academic foundation, and a personal journey towards nursing, I am poised to pursue a nursing career.”

In the body, elaborate on your thesis with supportive evidence, examples, and anecdotes. Structure the body into several paragraphs, each spotlighting a distinct idea tying back to the thesis. Open each paragraph with a topic sentence introducing its main idea, and conclude with a sentence that summarizes the idea and transitions into the next section.

An example structure could include paragraphs dedicated to your passion for helping others, your educational background, and a defining personal experience.

The conclusion is your opportunity to reiterate your thesis, encapsulate your primary arguments, and make a memorable impression on the admissions committee. Summarize your points without introducing new ideas, highlighting the significance of what you’ve discussed. Conclude with a potent statement reflecting your enthusiasm, confidence, and appreciation, something akin to, “I am confident in my ability to thrive as a nurse and contribute significantly to the nursing profession. It would be a privilege to join your esteemed nursing school and gain insights from your distinguished faculty and staff.”

Writing an Engaging Introduction

The second step involves crafting a captivating introduction. This segment, being the admissions committee’s first point of contact with your essay, should seize their interest immediately. Employ strategies like a compelling hook—a question, a quote, an intriguing statistic, or a personal story. For instance, “Witnessing a car accident at the age of 12 profoundly transformed my perspective on life.”

Following your hook, offer necessary background information that frames your essay. Briefly introduce yourself, explain your interest in nursing, and your reasons for applying to the specific nursing school or program, invoking the school or program’s name to demonstrate your detailed interest and familiarity.

The introduction’s final element is your thesis statement, which should clearly, concisely, and specifically outline the main argument or message you aim to convey, along with a preview of the key points or ideas that will be further explored in the essay body.

Developing the Body of Your Essay

The body of your essay is where you flesh out your thesis statement with concrete evidence, engaging examples, and compelling narratives. Ensure each paragraph focuses on a singular idea relevant to your thesis, introduced via a topic sentence and concluded in a way that seamlessly leads to the subsequent point.

Employ a mix of sentence structures, lengths, and vocabulary to keep the essay dynamic and engaging. Use transitional phrases like “firstly,” “secondly,” “however,” and “consequently,” to ensure a coherent flow between paragraphs. Be mindful of the essay’s word count, format, style, and tone, adhering to the nursing school’s guidelines to maintain a professional and positive tone throughout.

Concluding with Impact

The conclusion is your final chance to influence the admissions committee. Reinforce your thesis statement and summarize the essay’s core points, underscoring their relevance and demonstrating how they align with the nursing program’s values and objectives. Avoid introducing new information; instead, solidify the arguments you’ve presented and their significance. Conclude with a powerful statement that encapsulates your main message, reaffirms your commitment and suitability for the program, and expresses gratitude for the committee’s consideration. For example, “Confident in my potential to excel in nursing and make meaningful contributions to patient care, I am eager to join your nursing school and absorb knowledge from your esteemed faculty. Thank you for considering my application.”

Personalize Your Essay

To ensure your essay captivates the admissions board, infusing it with your personal touch is crucial after you’ve laid down its structure, crafted an engaging introduction, built out the body, and concluded with impact. Making your essay uniquely yours involves shining a light on your distinctive traits, expressing your desire to become a nurse, and demonstrating your empathy and compassion.

Follow these steps to add that personalized flair:

Highlighting Your Unique Qualities

Begin by spotlighting the singular qualities that render you an excellent fit for the nursing program. Discuss your personality, strengths, skills, and achievements to illustrate your readiness and suitability for a career in nursing.

It’s also key to share stories of any hurdles you’ve overcome, showcasing how these experiences have molded your character and spurred growth. Use specific, relevant anecdotes to bring these qualities to life, employing confident and positive language. Remember to stay true to yourself, dodging the pitfalls of clichés and overstatements, while ensuring you’re not redundantly repeating your resume but instead revealing new facets of your profile.

Sharing Your Nursing Aspirations

The next phase involves sharing your ambitions within the nursing field, detailing your career objectives and what sparks your enthusiasm for nursing. Clarify why you want to become a nurse, your goals as a registered nurse, and how you aim to make a difference. Discuss any particular interests or specializations and their resonance with your chosen program.

Your narrative should convey a realistic, yet passionate vision, highlighting your excitement for nursing, its alignment with your principles, and your cognizance of the profession’s evolving landscape. This is the moment to express your eagerness for lifelong learning in nursing and how the program will bolster your career trajectory.

Showcasing Empathy and Compassion

Lastly, your essay should illustrate your empathy and compassion—fundamental traits of a nurse. Empathy reflects your capacity to understand others’ feelings, whereas compassion showcases your desire to assist and care. Narrate instances where you’ve exemplified these virtues in personal or professional scenarios, emphasizing their impact on your nursing ambition.

Utilize emotive and vibrant language supported by concrete examples to depict your compassionate actions and their transformative influence on your life and nursing philosophy, illustrating how they cement your ethical framework and inform your patient care approach.

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Polishing Your Essay

After highlighting your unique qualities, sharing your nursing aspirations, and showcasing empathy and compassion within your essay, it’s crucial to refine it to perfection. Polishing includes seeking feedback, editing, and proofreading to enhance the essay’s content, structure, and style. Here are some tips to help you write a strong essay perfect for the application process.

Follow these steps to elevate your essay:

Seeking Feedback

Gathering external feedback is your initial step. This can be from friends, family, mentors, teachers, or professional editors. It’s a way to identify your essay’s strengths and shortcomings and offers suggestions for refinements. Feedback also provides a fresh perspective, akin to viewing your essay through the admissions committee’s eyes.

Choose a reviewer who is knowledgeable, honest, and supportive. Provide them with the essay’s prompt and requirements, and ask for an assessment based on:

  • Content: Does your essay respond to the prompt and address key points? Does it offer ample evidence and stories to back your thesis? Does it reflect your personality, passion, and nursing ambitions?
  • Structure: Is your essay logically organized with an engaging introduction, coherent body, and strong conclusion? Are transitions and sentences used effectively to connect ideas?
  • Style: Does your essay adhere to a clear format (APA, MLA, Chicago) for citations and plagiarism prevention? Is the style formal and professional, free from slang, jargon, and contractions? Does it maintain a positive tone without negativity or exaggeration?
  • Grammar: Are spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar correct? Does the essay utilize varied sentence structures and word choices to enhance readability?

Upon receiving feedback, thank the contributor, review their insights carefully, remain open-minded, and view this as an opportunity to refine your essay. Avoid taking feedback personally; instead, see it as a means to enhance your work.

Editing and Proofreading

The subsequent step is editing and proofreading your essay to correct any errors or inconsistencies. While editing focuses on improving content, structure, and style, proofreading targets grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format accuracy.

During editing, concentrate on your essay’s overall quality. Ensure it fulfills the prompt, supports your thesis with relevant examples, portrays your aspirations and personality, maintains coherent organization with a compelling opening and conclusion, employs transitions effectively, follows a consistent citation format, and presents a formal style with a confident tone.

In proofreading, zoom in on details and accuracy. Verify grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format correctness, and ensure adherence to the nursing program’s requirements like word count and style guidelines.

Utilize tools and techniques like reading aloud, spell checkers, grammar checkers, style guides, dictionaries, thesauruses, peer reviews, professional services, and checklists fora thorough revision. Revise multiple times until your essay reaches its best version, ready to apply for nursing school.

Example Essays and Analysis

In this informative section, we present two exemplar nursing school personal statement examples that successfully encapsulate the ideals of engaging and effective writing, as previously explored. These samples serve as a beacon of inspiration, illustrating best practices for prospective nursing students aiming to craft compelling narratives of their own experiences and goals.

It’s crucial, however, to regard these essays as models rather than templates. The uniqueness of each essay stems from the personal stories and individual journeys of the writers. As such, your essay should be a mirror reflecting your personal aspirations, experiences, and character.

Sample Nursing Application Essay 1

The essay that follows was penned by Jane Doe, a hopeful applicant to the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Northeastern University. The essay addresses the prompt, “Why do you want to pursue a career in nursing?” with a compelling narrative.

At the age of 12, a car accident unfolded before me, forever altering the trajectory of my life. A woman, engulfed by flames within her vehicle, screamed for help. I dashed to the closest phone booth, dialed 911, and soon, paramedics were on the scene, waging a battle against time and flames. Their success in rescuing the woman left an indelible mark on me, sparking a determination to emulate their bravery and compassion.

My name is Jane Doe. My application to the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Northeastern University is driven by a lifelong fascination with human health, a profound desire to aid those in distress, and a rich tapestry of academic and professional experiences that have groomed me for a nursing career.

My passion lies in serving those who are vulnerable, providing care and comfort in their times of need. Volunteering across various health settings and participating in community engagement initiatives have enriched my skills in empathy, communication, and teamwork.

Furthermore, an extensive academic background in biology and psychology from Boston University, coupled with practical research experiences, has laid a solid foundational knowledge critical for a nursing career.

A defining moment came when, at 12, I witnessed my aunt suffer in a harrowing car accident. The compassionate care she received from her nurses during recovery illuminated the profound impact of nursing on patient and family alike, steering me toward this noble calling.

This essay encapsulates my unwavering passion for nursing, my academic preparedness, and a deeply personal inspiration. These elements not only shape my ambitions but also epitomize the qualities and drive necessary for success in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Northeastern University. It would be an honor to contribute to and learn within this esteemed nursing community.

Thank you for considering my application.

Sample Nursing Application Essay 2

Our next essay is by John Smith, who seeks to further his nursing career through the Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of California, Los Angeles, aiming to articulate his short-term and long-term nursing goals.

My journey towards nursing began in childhood, deeply influenced by a family legacy of nursing professionals. My mother’s battle with breast cancer and the exceptional care she received highlighted the profound role nurses play both in patient recovery and as pillars of support, solidifying my resolve to join their ranks.

As John Smith, an applicant to the Master of Science in Nursing program at UCLA, I bring a robust background in nursing, having earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and garnered extensive hands-on experience in various clinical settings.

My immediate aspiration is to excel in the UCLA Master of Science in Nursing program as a step towards becoming a nurse practitioner, a role that promises both personal fulfillment and professional advancement. My vision extends to becoming a nursing educator and leader, dedicated to elevating nursing practice through teaching, research, and advocacy.

These goals reflect not only my aspirations but also my potential to contribute meaningfully to the UCLA program and the nursing profession at large. I am eager to embark on this next phase of my professional journey, guided by the exemplary faculty and peers at UCLA.

Thank you for your consideration.

Writing Techniques Demonstrated

The essays showcased here exemplify the core writing strategies discussed in prior sections. These include:

  • Thoroughly addressing the essay prompt and adhering to its requirements.
  • Conducting diligent research on the nursing program to tailor the essay with insightful knowledge.
  • Structuring the essay coherently with a compelling introduction, a well-supported body, and a memorable conclusion.
  • Infusing the narrative with unique personal insights and a clear demonstration of empathy and compassion.
  • Meticulously refining the essay through thoughtful revisions and feedback to polish the final submission.
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3 Typical Problems in Writing a Nursing Application Essay

Lack of Focus

When crafting a nursing application essay, one common pitfall is a lack of focus. Applicants often struggle to narrow down their ideas to a coherent narrative that effectively communicates their passion and qualifications for nursing. This can lead to an essay that feels scattered or unfocused, making it difficult for admissions committees to discern the applicant’s main message.

Too Much Information

Another issue is the tendency to include too much information. In an attempt to cover all their bases, applicants might overload their essays with too many details, from personal anecdotes to technical explanations of nursing concepts. This not only overwhelms the reader but also dilutes the impact of the most important points. Striking the right balance between being thorough and concise is key to a compelling essay.

Poor Writing Skills

Finally, poor writing skills can severely detract from an otherwise strong nursing application essay. Grammatical errors, awkward sentence structures, and improper formatting can distract from the content, making it hard for reviewers to focus on the applicant’s strengths. Investing time in proofreading and possibly seeking feedback from others can significantly improve the quality of the essay.


In this blog post, we’ve shared a detailed and actionable guide to crafting a standout nursing application essay. We’ve explored the importance of the nursing school application essay in the application process, offered tips to write an effective nursing school personal statement, and highlighted the best nursing programs’ expectations. Our advice on personal essay preparation, essay composition techniques, and steps to personalize your writing aims to help you craft a compelling nursing personal statement that articulates your desire to pursue a nursing degree.

  • The significance and goals of the nursing application essay.
  • Preparation steps, including comprehending the essay prompt and researching your chosen nursing school.
  • Essay composition techniques, such as outlining, crafting an engaging introduction, developing a coherent body, and finishing with a memorable conclusion.
  • How to inject personality into your essay by showcasing your unique traits, articulating your nursing ambitions, and demonstrating your empathy and compassion.
  • Tips for refining your essay, such as soliciting feedback, and the importance of thorough editing and proofreading.
  • A list of common pitfalls to avoid, like losing focus, providing excessive information, or showcasing inadequate writing skills.
  • A review and analysis of two successful nursing application essays.

To clinch a spot in the best nursing programs, remember a well-written essay can serve as a winning nursing application essay. Your personal narrative takes center stage in the admissions landscape; it’s an influential piece that can sway the admission committee’s decision. With our guidelines and personal examples, we trust that writing your personal statement for nursing school will be an enriching and productive endeavor. So polish that strong essay—it’s an essential step toward your future nursing job.

Should you seek further assistance or inspiration, resources and professional services are available to help you craft a compelling nursing essay. Your application essay is a testament to your commitment to the field of nursing as you apply for nursing school. It’s crucial to apply the strength of your convictions and aspirations into the writing process, showcasing a personal narrative that resonates with the values and goals of the nursing program you’re eager to join.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Write a Good Nursing Application Essay

1. How important is a nursing application essay for those who want to be a nurse?

A good essay is crucial for individuals aspiring to become nurses. It is typically a key component of the application process for nursing programs and provides applicants with the opportunity to showcase their passion, skills, and experiences.

2. What are some tips for writing a compelling nursing application essay?

When crafting your essay, consider using essay examples as a reference. Focus on highlighting your strengths, motivations to pursue nursing, and unique qualities that make you a strong candidate. Additionally, tailor your essay to each college application to demonstrate your genuine interest.

3. Why do you need to write a compelling nursing application essay?

To make your nursing application stand out among other applicants, it is imperative to create a compelling essay that showcases your passion for the field, your relevant experiences, and the reasons applying to nursing is important to you.

4. How can you make your nursing application essay more impactful with the use of examples?

Utilizing best examples in your essay can help illustrate your points and provide concrete evidence of your qualifications and attributes. Including specific scenarios or experiences can make your essay more compelling and memorable to reviewers.

5. What should you consider when making the decision to become a nurse and including it in your essay?

When discussing your decision to become a nurse in your application essay, reflect on your personal motivations, experiences that influenced your choice, and the qualities you possess that align with the nursing profession. This can help admissions committees understand your genuine passion for nursing.

6. Why are examples of nursing personal statement important in the nursing application process?

Nursing personal statement examples serve as valuable resources for applicants to understand the structure, tone, and content expectations for their own essays. They can also provide inspiration and guidance on how to effectively convey one’s story and aspirations.

7. What specific aspects should you highlight in your nursing application essay to showcase what you bring to the table?

Focus on application materials that emphasize your unique attributes, experiences in the healthcare field, skills, and qualities that make you a strong candidate for the nursing program

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